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Small, dark kitchens in old apartment buildings can be transformed with style, as this project shows

View of the modern kitchen architecture, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, light fixture, orange, room, table, wall, red, brown
View of the modern kitchen

Older-style apartments often have plenty of character, but they are unlikely to win prizes for the design of their kitchens. With the right planning, however, it is possible to refurbish such spaces to add a contemporary flavour.

Architect Murray Wood worked in conjunction with the homeowners Angela Sciacca and Nigel Sturdy to transform the interior of the apartment featured on these pages. As with many older apartments, the existing interior consisted of several small rooms, which contributed to a dark, cramped entry hall and kitchen.

"Demolishing several walls and installing two large, steel I-beams was a way to open up the interior and create a much larger, and lighter space," says Wood.


View of the hall & kitchen architecture, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, lighting, real estate, room, wood flooring, orange, red
View of the hall & kitchen

To provide light in the entry hall, a large, square window of opaque glass was positioned on one of the kitchen walls. This wall also supports a kidney-shaped table top that wraps around the edge of the wall, helping to link the kitchen with the living room. A cantilevered bulkhead provides additional structural support beneath the table.

"Three or four people can sit around the curve, making it a small but sociable dining space," says Wood. "Timber shelving above the table top repeats the kidney-shaped curves."

To maximise storage in a small space, banks of cabinetry are placed on the remaining walls. While most of the cabinets are natural wood veneer, two cabinets feature a white polyurethaned surface.

View of the kitchen area cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, orange, room, wood flooring, orange
View of the kitchen area

"We have also opted for wider-than-average 600mm cabinet doors, which work well in smaller rooms," says Wood. "To provide a clear distinction between the different units and the timber flooring, there is a black toekick. This also gives the perception of a shadow, which in turn makes the units appear to float within the space."

Colour is provided by an illuminated glass splashback and the blade wall that runs through the apartment. Painted niches in the white cabinetry also help to brighten the kitchen.

Story by: Trendsideas

24 Aug, 2003